Getting Started with Grant Writing

Before you sit down to write a grant proposal, please create a document roadmap using the following questions. They will help conceptualize your organization, the proposed project, and how they both relate to the funder's priorities. Be completely honest.

General

  1. Who are you?
  2. What is the purpose of your organization? How old is the organization?
  3. What is the average ethnicity, age and income of those whom you serve? What geography do you cover?
  4. What service(s) do you provide?
  5. How many beneficiaries of your programs and services did you serve last year?
  6. What makes you unique?
  7. Who is your competition?

Expertise

  1. Who is your chief executive officer? What are his or her qualifications?
  2. Who is chairman - president of your Board of Trustees? Who are the members of your Board of Trustees?
  3. Who are your key staff and their qualifications?
  4. What kind of "track record" does your organization have?

Financial

  1. What do you want? How much, and for what?
  2. How much does it cost per-beneficiary to provide your service(s)?
  3. What is the general financial condition of your organization?
    • Operating budget?
    • Any deficit? How much?
    • Long-term obligations?
    • Principal areas of expenditures?
  4. How is your income generated and what is its rate of percentage to your total annual expense? Please include contributions from Individuals, Foundations, Corporations, Government, United Way, Net from benefit events, and Other.
  5. What will grant funds be specifically used for?
  6. What difference will this grant make?
  7. What will you do if you get half? What will you do if you get nothing?
  8. Why do you think the foundation should make this grant?

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